1867 anti-Semite

Tue Jan 17 15:16:35 UTC 2012

There is an example of "anti-Semitic" in The Reader, vol. 1, pp. 140 - 41 (Feb. 7, 1863) (Google Books), in a review by "E.L.G." of Daniel Ramee, Histoire Generale de l'Architecture (1862), although the author does seem to use "Semitic" to refer broadly to the Semitic peoples, rather than just to Jews:

<<Under the guise of a History of Architecture, M. Daniel Ramee, author of a "Theologie Cosmogonique, ou Reconstitution de l'ancienne et primitive Loi," administers a new version of universal history, that might be defined as a sermon, in two thick volumes, on the irreconcileable difference and eternal enmities of the chief human races, the essential nobleness of the ancient Egyptian (especially seen in its religion), and of most Arian races, and the impossibility of their tolerating on the same globe the Semitic - the source, either personally or by the religions it has engendered, of all decline and every evil, past or present, in the superior communities of Ham and Japhet.

Considering rightly that "Architecture is one of the expressions of the harmony or the disorder that rules a people or a civilization" (p. 608), M. Ramee has taken its history as a fit one wherewith to wrap up this outrageous theory of human affairs.  Not that any attempt is made to connect them, or draw the slightest illustration of one from the other . . . Here, on the contrary, the architectural descriptions and the anti-Semitic diatribes are merely interstratified, with as little connection as the alternate lines of common and of sympathetic ink in which some secret despatches are said to have been sometimes written. . . .

The decline of Greece is attributed to the teaching of Socrates, whose "idea of God was conformable to the Semitic view."  (Page 528.) . . . He occupied himself only with abstractions, and separated thought from the terrestrial and material world, like the Arabs and Jews.>>

I have not attempted to include the diacritical markings in the original.  There is no reference to a translation of Ramee's work, so I assume that the quotations from Ramee are the reviewer's translations.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Shapiro, Fred
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: 1867 anti-Semite

Stephen knows far more than I do about theology, I surmise, so maybe he can answer this question:  Does it appear that, before modern "anti-Semitism," there was a theological bifurcation of Semitic vs. Aryan (corresponding partially to Old Testament vs. New Testament?), with anthropological elements as well, and that modern "anti-Semitism" was a development of the earlier theo-anthropological bifurcation?  Modern anti-Semitism apparently used some of the same terminology as the earlier version, but may be distinguished from it.  I haven't looked at the 1867 article, but I imagine that it sheds light on the question.

One of the consequences of doing historical lexicography with heavy use of searchable online historical text collections is that, far more than in the past, lexicographers have to deal with questionable, cryptic, transitional, or accidental citations, the kind that the OED has traditionally put in square brackets.  Carlyle's usage and some other early ones of "anti-Semitic" or "anti-Semite" or "anti-Semitism" may well fall into this category.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Stephen Goranson [goranson at DUKE.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:53 AM
Subject: 1867 anti-Semite

On the Great Race-Elements in Christianity<http://www.jstor.org/stable/3025241?&Search=yes&searchText=anti-semite&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3D%2528anti-semite%2529%26gw%3Djtx%26acc%3Don%26prq%3D%2528anti-semitic%2529%26Search%3DSearch%26hp%3D25%26so%3Dold%26wc%3Don&prevSearch=&item=1&ttl=2501&returnArticleService=showFullText> [Free content]  [quick view] <http://www.jstor.org/action/showSearchInfo?doi=10.2307%2F3025241&searchText=anti-semite>
Dunbar I. Heath<http://www.jstor.org/action/doBasicSearch?Query=au%3A%22Dunbar+I.+Heath%22&wc=on>
Journal of the Anthropological Society of London, Vol. 5, (1867), pp. xix-xxxi, here xxvii:
....Now with the Septuagint went a large body of strongly anti-Semitic literature, such as the books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Daniel, and in this latter Aryan book we have the great source of all the ideas, the imagery, and the phraseology of what in Europe now at the present day is called Christianity.


Stephen Goranson

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